The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or

Consumers Fight Back: "Brand Jamming" Contest to Tweak Hershey for Child Labor Abuses

Mock Advertisements Target Hershey’s Refusal to Crackdown on Highly Controversial Labor Practices: $1,000 Grand Prize


Green America, Global Exchange and the International Labor Rights Forum are launching a brand-jamming contest in order to bring attention to Hershey's failure to crack down on child labor and other abuses in its cocoa supply chain.

Contestants may submit entries under three categories: Slogan/tagline, print advertisement, or video. These advertisements and slogans will be mock versions of Hershey's promotions, with prizes going to the most creative submissions. For more information about how to participate in the Hershey brand-jamming contest, go to

All entries must be submitted by April 10, 2011, after which a public vote will be taken to help determine the winner. The grand prize winner will be awarded $1000 and best-in-category winners also will receive prizes, including Fair Trade Certified chocolate. The awards will be announced on April 28, 2011, the day of Hershey's Annual General Meeting for shareholders.

Green America Fair Trade Coordinator Elizabeth O'Connell said: "We've already had tens of thousands of U.S. consumers participate directly in various campaigns to highlight Hershey's troubling reliance on forced and child labor in West Africa. Now, we want to get consumers directly involved in spoofing the ads of Hershey to put more heat on the company."

Global Exchange Fair Trade Director Adrienne Fitch Frankel said: "It remains our hope that Hershey will put an end to these unconscionable labor abuses. That day is likely to come about more quickly as even more Americans tell Hershey to clean up its chocolate mess."

ILRF Campaigns Director Tim Newman said: "Hershey lags behind the rest of the industry in failing to have any independent, third party certification for its cocoa. More and more consumers are calling on Hershey to raise the bar and begin sourcing Fair Trade Certified cocoa."

All submissions will be eligible to be used as part of the "Raise the Bar, Hershey!" Campaign.

The "Raise the Bar, Hershey!" Campaign is spearheading actions to encourage Hershey to switch to Fair Trade Certified cocoa, which is grown under standards that prohibit the use of child and forced labor and trafficking. The cocoa industry has been plagued for years by this type of exploitation. Currently, Hershey lags behind its competitors in sourcing cocoa that has been certified by independent, third parties to meet international labor rights standards. Fair Trade also guarantees farmers a stable, minimum price, empowering them to start to escape the cycle of poverty in conventional trade.

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982 and known until January 1, 2009 as "Co-op America." Green America's mission is to harness economic power--the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace--to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.